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Whether you’re blogging as a hobby or to grow your business, driving people to your content (and encouraging them to come back) can be a challenge.
Though there are numerous tactics for increasing blog followers, one of the best for building an active and engaged audience is harnessing the power of your most influential followers.
That’s because today’s influencers wield tremendous sway. In fact, 63% of millennials say they trust what influencers say about a brand more than what the brand says about themselves, according to a 2019 report from Edelman.
So, how do you tap into influencers’ power? Here’s how to identify potential high-profile followers and build symbiotic relationships that help you achieve your growth goals.
Scan your subscriber list
Many bloggers and business owners start their influencer relationship-building efforts by seeking out potential people in their field. But first, it’s a good idea to check your existing audience for potential partnership opportunities.
Here are a few ways you can identify high-profile followers:
Blog subscribers: Do any fellow bloggers or social media influencers subscribe to your blog?
Blog comments: Has anyone notable commented on your blog posts recently?
Social media: Is anyone with a sizable audience connected to your brand on social media?
Target key influencers in your industry or niche
If you don’t already have followers with their own substantial audience, or you’re looking to grow your influencer network, the next step is to identify and target specific individuals.
You can start by determining which kind of influencer is most relevant. For example, if you own a company that makes custom wall prints, it would be a good idea to connect with interior design influencers. If you blog about fitness, you’ll want to look for personal trainers and wellness experts.
Here are a few ways to find ideal influencers:
Use Reader to search for fellow bloggers who publish about topics relevant to your brand.
Search hashtags on popular social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook.
Set up Google alerts for relevant keywords and competitors’ brand names, so you’ll be notified when someone publishes something mentioning either.
Remember, you don’t need to exclusively target people with a massive audience. Micro-influencers with small-but-loyal followings can be just as effective in helping boost your blog traffic.
Build mutually beneficial relationships
Once you’ve identified a few current or prospective blog followers, it’s time to begin building and solidifying relationships. Start by reaching out with a friendly yet professional email or a direct message on social media. Keep in mind that although many influencers will be happy to help you increase your online traffic, they’ll likely want something in return.
Here are a few tactics you can use to foster symbiotic influencer relationships:
Offer free products or services: Send influencers a free product, or provide free service in exchange for their honest feedback. If they’re happy with their experience, ask them to share with their followers.
Suggest a guest-blogging partnership: Offer to create content for another successful blogger and ask them to guest-post on your blog, too. This way, you’ll both expose your brand to a new audience.
Cross-promote a partner project: Consider joining forces on a product, service, or another relevant project and promote your collaboration to both your blog followers and their audience.
Growing your blog following isn’t always easy, but by teaming up with prominent influencers, you can quickly boost your audience size and expand your network.
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